Veterans Support Program

Background:

According to a recent article from NBC News, there are roughly 800,000 veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces currently attending college ― but sadly, nearly 88% of these veteran students are expected to drop out before completing their first year of school and only 3% are expected to actually graduate. Troubling statistics like these have led lawmakers and higher-learning institutions across the country to adopt measures that not only enable veterans to attend college, but also aid their transition into and out of the classroom and offer services (such as vet counseling and student organizations) that address the specific needs of this population.

Coupled with the lack of guidance to determine proper education path, major and school, to support securing a job and sustainable career, the likelihood of a veteran successfully completing a degree program is minimal at best.

Our approach:

Optimum Ed has developed a unique program to address the higher education needs of the veteran. This program begins with an in-depth assessment to determine the proper career direction they should pursue. Armed with that information and data regarding career growth projections, established a sound base from which to develop a list of appropriate colleges and universities.

This targeted college list utilizes several different data bases to include U.S. News and World Report, It also looks at institutions that have excelled in recent years when it comes to educating and supporting veteran students.

In concert with the ‘Top 200 National Universities’ list compiled by U.S. News & World Report, all of the schools meet each of the following three criteria:

Service members Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Members: This program was launched in 1972 to assist active military personnel who have historically struggled to earn a college degree due to frequent relocation. The SOC is co-managed by the Department of Defense, ‘active’ and ‘reserve’ arms of the five major military branches (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy) and the National Guard, and 15 higher education associations.

ACE Credit Honored: The American Council on Education (ACE) works directly with the U.S. Armed Forces to evaluate military training courses and programs. Schools that honor ACE credits will allow veterans to use credits earned from these courses and programs toward their degree program.

Yellow Ribbon Program/Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Participant: Under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, all tuition and resident fees for public higher education will be paid for military veterans who have served at least 36 months since September 2011; private school tuition and fees will be partially covered, as well. Active service members are not eligible for this form of tuition assistance, but will be considered eligible if they meet the other criteria once they have received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces.

Another hurdle many veteran students face is PTSD. While some with PTSD might not struggle in college, for others the symptoms of the condition can make it difficult to integrate academically and socially into the campus community, which is important to student success.

Veterans go to college older and with vastly different life experiences than their teenage counterparts, which can leave them feeling isolated, out-of-place on a college campus and annoyed with the beliefs and values of the student body. Those feelings of isolation and frustration can trigger symptoms in veterans with PTSD. To increase their chances of success, we help veterans look for schools that provide strong institutional academic, social and financial support; those good counseling and clinical services on or nearby the campus are important.

The challenges of paying for college are often different for veterans. Our counselors assist with accessing GI Bill benefits and other forms of financial aid, insuring the veteran leaves college with a degree that can secure employment and minimal debt.

Contact us for the Veteran’s Discount.
Optimum Ed’s program for services:

Getting Started

  • Aptitude/Interest Assessment
    • Individual Report
    • Summary Graph
    • Interpretive Consultation
  • Proper Career Determination
  • Personal College Filter
  • Academic Requirements
  • College Search
    • List of Matching Schools
    • Comparative Information

Paying for It

  • Need-Based Eligibility Analysis
    • Financial Aid Comparison
    • Strategies to Increase Aid
  • GI Bill benefits analysis/access
  • Financial Aid Forms
    • Requirements & Deadlines
    • Submission Assistance
  • Financial Aid Awards Analyzed
    • Cost Comparison Sheets
  • Selecting College to Attend
  • Private Scholarship Access
  • How To Pay Family’s Share
  • Student Loan Assistance

Making It Happen

  • EFC Calculation
  • Detailed College Screening
    • Custom College Comparison
    • Best Academic Programs
    • Where Graduates Work
    • Best Internship Programs
    • Collegiate Aid Comparison
    • College Funding Comparison
  • Marketing
    • Admission Resume Coaching
    • Admission Resume Development
  • Managed Essay Requirements
  • College Application Coaching
    • Requirements & Deadlines
    • Submission Assistance